Saturday, August 7, 2010
While Independence has put us in a self-congratulatory mood, amid the parties we ought to take some time for reflection. We have accomplished many great things through hard work and a tenacious spirit, but there have been countless bumps in the road. The fact that the black, green and gold of the Jamaican flag is a major fashion statement is not to be taken lightly. It indicates how deep-rooted the Jamaican culture has become in many corners of the Earth. However, 48 years on, we cannot claim to have achieved the objectives of our founding fathers who started the Independence journey. And as we become reflective, we also have the right to be critical of those things that have retarded our progress.
For sure, patriotism means different things to different people. For some, patriotism means an unquestioned loyalty to one's country, while to others the country offers an opportunity for them to garner wealth and power ruthlessly, yet there are others who believe that Government or some godfather ought to take care of all their needs. Then there are the disillusioned, including scores of young people, who feel let down by Jamaica because there are so few opportunities.
Just lip service?
If patriotism means unquestionable loyalty to one's country, then many people have simply been paying lip service to the ideal. For example, how much love do business people have for Jamaica when they dodge the taxman and fail to pay customs duties?
How much do they love Jamaica when citizens engage in importing guns and ammunition knowing that they will be used to kill innocent people? Is it love that causes people to engage in the kinds of antisocial behaviour that scars the good name of Jamaica? How patriotic is it to manage the economy in a reckless manner with the only emphasis being on election victories? It's a reasonable conclusion to draw, that one man's patriotism is another man's treason.
Indeed, one of the things that have held us back is the fact that we continue to see issues through the lens of the PNP-JLP political spectrum. It means every issue becomes polarised into right and wrong as we apportion blame to one side or other. We need the kind of inspired leadership that will help to convince the majority that the grave misjudgements of the past will not be repeated, and that there are indeed better days ahead.
If we want to wake up to a new Jamaica, we need to stop the finger-pointing at each other and admit that both parties have engaged in flawed policies to the detriment of the country. Instead of trying to convince us that one party has all the answers, we urge all parties to work together to achieve success on the economic, social and political fronts - then will we have a good chance at regaining the nation's vitality and restoring hope.
To respond to a Gleaner editorial, email: email@example.com or fax: 922-6223. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all responses will be published.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Consider these five perspectives the foundation for your relationships. This is all about you. As you strengthen your relationship with yourself via these guidelines, your ability to listen, communicate, and connect will deepen and expand.
Adopting these perspectives can bring an immediate shift in your relationships and you can apply these perspectives for the rest of your life!
Enjoy, have fun, be curious. Be love.
Your most important relationship is with yourself.
To fully nurture your relationship with yourself and others, I believe it is essential to understand and hone your sense of sovereignty. ALL of your relationships can challenge and deepen your sense of sovereignty which, at its core, is about accepting responsibility for your life.
You are solely responsible for creating and enjoying your life.
Sovereignty isn't about isolation, narcissism or a prompt to tug on your bootstraps. Of course you will join and partner with others. Yes, give and receive love thoughtfully. Be as close and intimate with others as feels true and genuine to your heart.
Just don't look for anyone else to fill a void or make things better for you.
Let's bring this concept of relating first to yourself home. Imagine being your own partner.
Are you pleased with the love, attention and care you give to this relationship with yourself?
What adjustments can you make to that will allow you to smile proudly when you answer that question?
NOTE: Any "yeah, buts" that your mind generates right now are lies. P.E.R.I.O.D.
Now, think of yourself with others,
Do you set you aside so that you can have your relationships with others?
How does this take its toll on you?
How does this take a toll on your relationships?
Enjoying a sovereign relationship with yourself allows you to see when, where and how you want to connect with others while centered in love, creativity, and integrity.
I know that you understand the logic of loving yourself. Your evolving answers to this question become your guide as you move from concept to reality.
What would a completely healed, positive relationship with myself look and feel like?
Love is the glue, the lube, and the glitter on top.
Your perspective creates your reality. Your relationships will be grounded or distorted to the degree that you are viewing your connection from love's vantage point. Your anger, fear and frustration can point you in the direction of love, but are not trusted filters from which to engage with others.
Give yourself permission to step away from a situation, reconnect with yourself and your sense of love. Then revisit the conflict and discussion with the person in your life.
Vulnerability is the new courage.
Readily sharing more of you with the world and with others is a natural outcome of your sense of sovereignty. When you've made a commitment to being yourself in all situations, it becomes easier to also share what others may consider weaknesses. For example, saying I was wrong, I really care about you, or I don't know. Welcoming others' vulnerability is the flip side of sharing your own and deepens your relationship.
I LOVE Dan Pallotta's article, Misfit Entrepreneurs. Don't misjudge the title and topic. An entrepreneur's willingness to be a fool for a divine purpose as Dan describes it, has applications to our relationships.
"To embrace the misfit in oneself is to be vulnerable. It is to forsake the easy acceptance that comes with fitting in and to instead be fortified by a kind of love, really. A love of life, a love of wonder, and, ultimately, a sustaining love for oneself. Far from egoism, that love for oneself is a measure of one's love for others, for humanity. And it is only from love that great ideas can be born."
What if you brought this much commitment, vision, vulnerability, and creativity to ALL of your relationships?
Live your universality.
We are all connected via our energy and common humanity. Your universality emerges from the understanding that you are a spiritual being having a physical experience. Living your universality is about knowing in your heart that you are always a child of god, source, divine, as is everyone and everything in our universe.
A central gift of our current experiences is that we each are able to become more intimate and compassionate with each other. Judgment, while seemingly putting up one last good fight, is becoming extinct. Feeling righteous as you point your finger at someone else attempts to deny your kindred relationship with that person.
Masaru Emoto's amazing research regarding the influence of positive thinking on water droplets illustrates the science behind how our common energy is so intimately linked.
Check out this video
What does this have to do with your relationships? There are two parts to this:
First, if you accepted our integral connectivity, why would you ever feel alone?
If you could have anyone, alive, dead or imagined by your side, who would you call upon when you are afraid?
Again, alive, dead, or imagined, who reminds you about your inherent courage, integrity, creativity, and love?
Next time you wonder if you're enough, simply call out the divine troupes to help you move toward what matters to you.
Secondly, look at the impact of your thoughts on yourself and others. For the health of you and others, choose love. Always.
Yesterday's best way isn't necessarily today's best way.
I know that there are aspects of the past that feel relevant to you today. Those relational beliefs and practices that are aligned with your soul will be easily incorporated into your life. You will know when you're trying to recreate what isn't true for you through your continued frustration and limited success.
I have found the following questions to be my most accurate guide me in my connections with others.
How loving is this?
How authentic is this?
How creative is this?
In closing, change is the new normal, my friends.
creates the continuity you seek.
Thanks ever so much for making the world a better place! Two things before I wrap this up.
Please feel free to share this with your friends
This month, IN THE LIFE features encore presentations of three stories from our archive. We look at how a work of art inspired The Trevor Project, the leading national organization for crisis and suicide prevention for LGBT and questioning youth.
In A Conversation With..., Edmund White and Doric Wilson revisit the Stonewall Riots, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence share how, unified as an Order of many faiths and spiritual beliefs, they've been "promulgating universal joy" for over three decades.
The tragedy of teen suicide is many times more likely for alienated LGBT youth than their straight peers. James Lecesne's groundbreaking play Word of Mouth, became an Oscar winning short film (Trevor), that gave birth to the only nationwide, 24-hour, suicide prevention helpline that has saved countless thousands. Now in its tenth year, The Trevor Project provides lifesaving guidance and vital resources to teens, educators and parents. Writers Edmund White and Doric Wilson share first hand accounts of the Stonewall Riots, and discuss how bearing witness to the uprising impacted their work and shaped their politics. Since their first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday in 1979, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have used the power of parody to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency, and guilt. Today, The Sisters are a global collective of queer performance artists devoted to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment.
The tragedy of teen suicide is many times more likely for alienated LGBT youth than their straight peers. James Lecesne's groundbreaking play Word of Mouth, became an Oscar winning short film (Trevor), that gave birth to the only nationwide, 24-hour, suicide prevention helpline that has saved countless thousands. Now in its tenth year, The Trevor Project provides lifesaving guidance and vital resources to teens, educators and parents.
Writers Edmund White and Doric Wilson share first hand accounts of the Stonewall Riots, and discuss how bearing witness to the uprising impacted their work and shaped their politics.
Since their first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday in 1979, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have used the power of parody to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency, and guilt. Today, The Sisters are a global collective of queer performance artists devoted to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment.
All Episodes in the 18th Season
The Unseen Gays: Struggling on the Margins
At a time when nearly every corner of the country is suffering from market downturns and high unemployment rates, many in the LGBT community are especially hard hit. In our lead segment, we look at how racial, economic and gender-based discrimination result in disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and homelessness among the most marginalized members of our community.
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
- To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus
- Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives
- To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony
- Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions
- To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public
- Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner
- Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner
Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it